Jean-Pierre Bemba
Jean-Pierre Bemba

The International Criminal Court has sentenced Congolese former vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba to 18 years in prison for murders, rapes and acts of pillaging committed by his troops in the neighboring Central African Republic in 2002 and 2003.

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Presiding judge Sylvia Steiner said Tuesday that Bemba will get credit for the eight years he has already spent in ICC detention since his arrest in May 2008.

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Bemba, a former Congolese senator and vice president, was the commander of the Movement for the Liberation of Congo when he was asked in 2002 and 2003 to send troops by CAR president Ange-Felix Patasse to provide support during a civil war.

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